Bulgarian MPs Exposed in Mass Breaching of Smoking Ban
The full ban on smoking indoors is being breached in mass right where it was voted – in the building of the Bulgarian Parliament.
The journalists walked around the offices of parliamentary represented parties and found out they were all reeking of tobacco smell.
Tsvetan Tsvetanov, a former Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister in the cabinet of the now-opposition center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, was quoted in saying he was a non-smoker and denied his colleagues were smoking in the room.
The only MP to invite the journalists inside an office was Petar Mutafchiev from the left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP. No one was there at the moment, but the space also had a strong smell of cigarettes.
There was even a stronger smell near the office of the liberal, predominantly ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS.
DPS MP, Yanko Yankov, admitted lawmakers were smoking inside, but stressed it happened very rarely and as an exception.
Yankov also admitted it was wrong to breach the law, particularly by people who have passed it, but told the journalists to ask others for explanations as he was a non-smoker.
The fine for smoking in an enclosed place ranges from BGN 300 to BGN 1 000. Health inspectors, however, have no access inside the Parliament as they don't have the required special passes.
No MPs were seen go to such extreme as walking in the hallways with a lighted cigarette.
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